BIOM Muscles and Myoelectric Signals

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1 Slides 5E.1 BIOM 5010 Muscles and Myoelectric Signals Copyright by A. Adler 2011, material from D. Townsend from Medical Instrumentation, J.G. Webster

2 Slides 5E.2 Myoelectric Signals Skeletal (voluntary muscle) is anchored by tendons to bones. Fast response. Fatigues with load. Smooth (involuntary muscle) is found within the walls of organs and structures (e.g.: esophagus, stomach, intestines, bronchi, uterus, urethra, bladder, blood vessels, and skin). Slow response. Can maintain continuous force. Cardiac muscle is found in heart. An involuntary muscle but is similar to skeletal muscle. Fast response, but does not fatigue easily. Myoelectric (Myo = muscle) signals are the signals captured in the EMG (electromyogram). A voluntary (or induced contraction) creates an electrical signal composed of the action potentials travelling across the muscle fibers. At rest, there is no electrical activity in the muscles.

3 Slides 5E.3 Myoelectric Signals EMG measured using surface or needle electrodes to study the electrical activity in the muscle screen for some muscle & nerve conduction problems. Intramuscular EMG: recording via needle inserted into the muscle shows detailed activity of a few motor neurons Surface EMG: recording via electrode on skin surface. shows averaged muscle activity. Normal Results: Amplitude and spectral content change with level of activity (and fatigue) Abnormal Results: Neuropathy: damaged function of neurons (motor) Myopathy: damaged function of muscle fibres

4 Slides 5E.4 Reflex Arc signal pathway Reflex arc is neural pathway for a reflex action. Does not pass directly to brain, synapses in spinal cord. This allows reflex actions to occur relatively quickly. The brain receives sensory input while the reflex action occurs Source: Benet.org

5 Slides 5E.5 Anatomy of Muscles Muscle Fibre Source: wikipedia myofibril

6 Slides 5E.6 Muscle Activity Sarcomere When activated by motor neuron: neurotransmitter (ACh) is released Opens Na + channels Potential in muscle fibre raises from 85mV to 50mV (threshold) Action Potential in fibre Triggers Ca + release from storage in cell. Makes Actin interact with Myosin (cross-bridge cycling) Ratchet -like operation, creates force and shortens fibre

7 Slides 5E.7 Muscle Physiology Each somatic (voluntary) neuron activates a group of muscle fibres. Motor Unit: one somatic neuron and the group of fibres it activates Every action potential initiated by a particular somatic neuron creates a motor unit action potential (MUAP), and for the same somatic neuron, all its MUAPs will look the same. The SFAPs propagate along the muscle fibers and are summed by the electrode. Close fibers will contribute more to the sum than distant ones. Source: signal.uu.se

8 Slides 5E.8 Contraction Strength To increase the contraction strength: 1. Increase the firing rate of MUs (temporal recruiting) 2. Activate more MUs (spatial recruiting) # fibres in muscle Innvervation Ratio= # nerves in muscle Large muscle: 100s of fibres/nerve Small muscle: 10s of fibres/nerve (fine motor control comes from here) When MUs are firing at maximum rate, MUAPs fuse together to form tetanus.

9 Slides 5E.9 Recruitment Normal recruitment pattern. (A) With minimal effort of muscle contraction, a single motor unit is seen firing at 6 Hz. (B) Gradual increase in muscle strength results in recruitment of a second motor unit. (C) With further increase in muscle strength, a third motor unit is recruited. Source: Sandbrink and Culcea, Motor Unit Recruitment in EMG, emedicine.medscape.com

10 Slides 5E.10 Questions What allows APs in a muscle to piggy-back? (hint: nerve vs. muscle conduction velocity) Explain the difference between spatial and temporal recruitment The normal ECG always has the same structured shape and is easily recognizable, why is this not true of the MES? Vs

11 Slides 5E.11 Motor Units in the Context of your Body Motor Unit (MU), a single motoneuron and the group of skeletal muscle fibers that it innervates. Length transducers in the muscle activate sensory nerve fibers whose cell bodies are located in the dorsal root ganglion. These bipolar neurons send axonal projections to the spinal cord that divide into: descending branch: enters into a reflex arc with the motor neuron, ascending branch: conveys current muscle length to higher centers in the CNS

12 Slides 5E.12 Questions The reflex arc allows action to occur before the signal has reached the brain. How is it adaptive? (Midterm, BIOM ) 4. Nerve Conduction Velocity Consider the classic "knee-jerk" reflex test. 4A. Sketch a diagram and describe the nerve signal conduction pathway during this test. What accounts for the time delay between the hammer tap and muscle contraction? 4B. We wish to measure the time between hammer tap and muscle contraction. Design a system to measure this time delay. Sketch your system and describe how it works?

13 Slides 5E.13 EMG Signal Analysis Source: nmrc.bu.edu/tutorials/motor_units/ following: Merlette, EMG, 2004 EMG signal decomposition EMG signals are essentially made up of superimposed motor unit action potentials (MUAPs) from several motor units. Motor Unit: is a single motor neuron and the muscle fibers it innervates. Groups of motor units often work together to coordinate the contractions of a single muscle. MUAPs are essentially random events, occuring at random times. The EMG is thus a stochastic signal.

14 Slides 5E.14 Types of EMG Studies Isometric muscle activity: joint angle and muscle length do not change during contraction but contraction strength can Easiest study for EMG static muscles Isotonic muscle activity: muscle's length changes concentric contractions: the muscle tension exceeds the resistance and the muscle shortens typical of most exercise. The external force on the muscle is less than the force the muscle is generating - a shortening contraction. Eccentric contractions: the muscle lengthens due to force greater than which the muscle can produce. tensions are higher than muscle's maximum tetanic tension generating capacity (can set down a heavier object than can lift; skeletal muscles are very resistant to lengthening.)

15 Slides 5E.15 EMG Signal Analysis characterize an EMG in terms of amplitude and frequency Amplitude (via AM detection) Rectify signal; (abs(signal)); Calculate envelope Amplitude increases with force of contraction (name 2 things which increase contraction strength) Frequency Divide signal into segments and calculate Power Spectral Density (PSD) of each Calculate Mean Frequency (MNF) of signal during a time interval Frequency varies with conduction velocity Temperature, Fatigue, Lactic acid, Conduction Velocity Fatigue as muscles become fatigued, chemical changes make conduction velocity and MNF. If we require the same force, then the amplitude goes up.

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